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Realising Scotland's full potential in a digital world: A Digital Strategy for Scotland

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Introduction

Technology transforms the way in which we live our lives. It connects us in new and different ways. It puts more power into the hands of the users of services and offers new insights and opportunities for those who provide them. It creates a platform and a momentum for innovation and has the potential to fundamentally redefine the relationship between the public sector and the people it serves.

Much of this is exciting and positive for our country. The opportunity to develop new products and services; to create and collaborate across cultures and borders and develop successful, global businesses at a scale and a speed that was previously unimaginable. The chance to reduce the costs and increase the quality of public services, change the way in which we learn, work and live and access information and knowledge from around the world.

However, we also recognise that with these opportunities come some risks. Digital disrupts traditional jobs and industries, puts new pressures on our right to privacy and has the potential to create new forms of social exclusion. It generates new opportunities for criminal exploitation and raises serious questions and challenges for national and international security.

The Scottish Government will ensure that Scotland is recognised throughout the world as a vibrant, inclusive, open and outward-looking digital nation.

Our Vision is of a Country Which:

  • Stimulates innovation, welcomes investment and promotes its digital technologies industries
  • Develops internationally competitive, digitally mature businesses across all sectors
  • Designs and delivers digital public services around the needs of their users
  • Shares and opens up non-personal data as a source of innovation and efficiency
  • Has a public sector that operates on contemporary, digital, platform-based business models
  • Is led by a Government that "gets digital" and supports its staff to operate in digital ways
  • Provides high quality connectivity across the whole of our country
  • Is recognised internationally as a natural test bed for innovation in connectivity
  • Focuses its education and training systems on expanding its pool of digital skills and capabilities
  • Tackles the current gender gap in digital skills and careers
  • Enables everybody to share in the social, economic and democratic opportunities of digital
  • Creates the conditions which safeguard workers and enables Scottish society to address concerns about the digital world
  • Is secure and resilient to cyber threat and risk.

In a world which is changing so rapidly, a digital strategy developed at a fixed point in time cannot hope to provide all the answers. What it does do however, is describe the initial steps we will take in what will be a long and unpredictable journey and, in particular, describe how we will ensure that Scotland is able to anticipate and react, in an agile way, to the ever-changing opportunities of the digital age.